A recent report published by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in 2014 ranked London City as the most punctual airport in the United Kingdom. Average flight delays here, are the shortest of them all, exceeding no more than seven minutes, and nearly 88% of the flights takeoff on time.
The timing of this report was impeccable, as the decision to expand either Heathrow or Gatwick airport was pending. This report encompassed ten airports in the UK, including Gatwick, Stansted, Heathrow, Luton, and London City, as well as the regional airports that included Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Edinburgh.
What you may not know, is the CAA’s definition of punctual performance. CAA counts a flight as “on time” when one leaves early or is up to 15 minutes late. This report ranked Heathrow last in terms of punctuality, as only 74% of the flights takeoff on time and delays last around 15 minutes; while its punctuality across all airports fell down to 79%, a dip of just one percent.
When you take into account both flight departures and arrival statistics in the report, the CAA monitored about 69,000 chartered flights and approximately 1.4 million scheduled flights in 2014 to create the report.
Compared to the flight punctuality of 77% in 2013, 2014 had only 73% flights that left on time.
The group director for the regulatory policies of the CAA, Osborne, said that punctuality matters to the passengers and the work they conduct makes sure that the consumers have relevant and reliable data to make better and informed decisions.
Over the course of five years, flight punctuality of airports in the UK has been gradually improving. This is the reason why the dip in last year’s performance was a disappointing one. Not through any fault of their own, the industry as a whole had to cope with poor, unseasonal weather conditions as well as a number of overseas strikes of air traffic control, both of which are apparently beyond their control.
Newcastle, Manchester and Heathrow Airports, on the other hand, saw a noticeable improvement in terms of punctuality in 2013. However, in the case of the seven other airports, there was a dip, with Luton airport experiencing the biggest fall of five percent.
(Photo by Matt Biddulph [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)